How NaNoWriMo Turned Me Into A Published Author
It is October and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is right around the corner. If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, here is how it works: you write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of one) over the course of a single month. It sounds crazy, but NaNoWriMo is why I became a published author.
When I started to write Zeus, Inc., my ideas were all over the place. I didn't really know a lot about outlining a story, and I didn't have any daily writing habits that would guarantee that the story would get written. I began the story three different times, writing and re-writing, but never got more than halfway through. Then, a friend of mine told me about NaNoWriMo. I signed up, thinking it couldn't hurt to try, and patiently waited to finally get my story out of my head and on paper (or my computer).
The first thing I did, even before NaNoWriMo began, was start learning about how to organize my story. Thanks to the NaNoWriMo forums and a lot of helpful blog articles, I learned how to outline my story so that I could figure out what I was covering each day during my writing sessions. Now I know many writers who like to write by the seat of their pants (referred to as “pantsters"), but I am a lot like the main character, Alex, in my novel, Zeus, Inc. I need a plan for just about everything. I need some idea that I am in control or have some semblance of control. And I needed that with my novel.
When November 1st arrived, I started writing. I took the advice from NaNoWriMo and did nothing but that: write. I focused on the 2,000 word count I had set for myself for each day of November. I did not look back. I did not edit. I did not re-write. I just kept pushing forward. It not only felt good, but it felt like freedom. I was finally okay with just writing without thinking about anything beyond that. I continued to write every day, occasionally using ideas from NaNoWriMo's story prompt Twitter account, and by the end of the month, I had most of the novel completed. I kept writing beyond November and when it was complete, I realized I had a story that I could work with.
Of course, more months of re-writing lay ahead, but getting that foundation of the story down is really what set me off on the right path. Before participating in NaNoWriMo, I had been so bogged down in getting everything right in the first draft, that I never actually wrote anything. NaNoWriMo taught me how to write a first draft without worrying about the minor details that could be worked out later.
Because of NaNoWriMo, Zeus, Inc. was born as a novel. That novel was eventually published by Biting Dog Publications.
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(Biting Dog Publications) -50 years ago, mysterious Zeus, Inc. CEO Joseph Brentwood saved the world from a major energy crisis by discovering a new unlimited energy resource. Now, in 2069, Mr. Brentwood has gone missing and private eye Alex Grosjean has been hired to find him. Alex’s search leads her through her own murky past and into the fantastical depths of Hell itself, where she discovers that no one is who or what they seem to be.
Robin Burks, is not only a journalist for‚ DVICE.com‚and‚ RebelGaming.com, but also for her own site‚ FanGirlConfessions.com.‚ Robin has just published her first novel:‚Zeus, Inc.‚ with Biting Dog Publications and is working on its sequel‚The Curse of Hekate. A science fiction trilogy, The Book of Revelations, is also currently in the works. An internet addict, she can often be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. She also loves to read , act, sing, play video games and travel. Robin currently lives in Missouri with her four cats. She also occasionally speaks French and loves Doctor Who. Visit Robin on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or GoodReads.
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